Gingrich Claims to Like the Press, Identifies With the ‘Embeds’


Reporter's notebook:

Most people who follow Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich around constantly either work for him or are members of his family. As an ABC News political '"embed'" with the Gingrich campaign, I'm certainly neither, but when a presidential candidate's schedule is your schedule, it provides a unique opportunity to get to know a person who very well could play a role in shaping the country for the next eight years.

Each candidate has a dedicated reporter following his every move; they know when the candidate takes a misstep or says something different from the previous speech. While it would seem likely that Gingrich would find a camera in his face annoying, he told ABC News that he likes it.

"I actually identify with the people who are the embeds," Gingrich said. "Also, we have really nice people. I mean all the guys who are hanging out with me are nice. I don't know about the other campaigns."

But is he ever worried we'll catch that embarrassing moment or that he will say something he shouldn't? "Sooner or later, everything gets covered in the modern world and if you didn't do it, somebody with a cellphone camera would do it," Gingrich said.

Gingrich said his wife, Callista, wouldn't let him eat a corndog at the Iowa state fair for "the reason that became obvious. "If you saw two of my friends who made page one eating a corndog," Gingrich joked. "It's hopeless, it's the modern world."

Gingrich said the only tricky media obstacle is live coverage like on CSPAN and in debates. "If I get irritated, you look bad in a way you don't want," Gingrich said. "That's just a part of the discipline you're always on."

Gingrich said the news embeds do get to know their family well. "I suspect if you guys pulled your knowledge, the amount you know about Callista and me would be frightening," he said.

Gingrich said he has been surprised by how well the press gets along with him. "I've just been struck with the good humor of the group," Gingrich said. "You know, we'll see how it is by the end of next year, but my hope is the networks will put the same embeds on the campaign plane, when I have the nomination."